The first mistake is to talk about old and new. Whatever has managed to survive into the present is current, useful, and contemporary. And it permits us to move back in time in order to continue forward.
Enric Miralles, Architect
Going back to my time living in Tucson, the architecture of the Spanish Missions has long interested me. While in Arizona I made several visits to well known sites such as Mission San Xavier del Bac and Mission San José de Tumacácori. I also traveled to see missions in northern areas of the Mexican state of Sonora. The Spanish were also prolific in California (both Alta and Baja) and I’ve been slowly making my way to Junípero Serra’s western settlements.
An undisputed masterpiece of residential architecture.
This past Sunday I traveled to Palm Springs with Monmark Agency founder Mona Telega. We made the trek to attend a Modernism Week panel session on the Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra’s residential masterpiece from 1947. Instead of just focusing on this single building, the panel covered some of the many challenges of historic preservation for Modern buildings.
The wind will not stop. Gusts of sand swirl before me, stinging my face. But there is still too much to see and marvel, the world very much alive in the bright light and wind, exultant with the fever of spring, the delight of morning. Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each her and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Lover flowers best in openness and freedom.
Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire
See more photos from my trip into the Mojave Desert here –
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